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Hard Lessons


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Product Details

  • Actors: Denzel Washington, Lynn Whitfield, Debra Artis, Edna Auguillard, Billy Jaye Banner
  • Directors: Eric Laneuville
  • Writers: Charles Eric Johnson
  • Producers: Howard Lipstone, Jerram A. Swartz, Linda Otto
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: April 23, 2002
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000633QV
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,999 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hard Lessons" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

The George McKenna Story

Customer Reviews

I had seen this movie on television and loved it.
Barbara Smith
I am one of many family members who in fact attended George Washington High School, now George Washington Preparatory High School.
Tanya A. Peters
My only complaint is that the movie was too short.
roger123

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By GRAHAM TOMLINSON on September 8, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I seriously doubt Mr. Denzel Washington is able to give anything less than a performance of total conviction, as he proves once again to me here in one of his earliest leading roles. In a true-life portrayal of George McKenna, new principal to the trouble-torn George Washington Memorial High School, he is wholly convincing. The problems he encounters are not solely those caused by the students, but also the parents and indeed some of the teachers. His determination to turn things round stems from his passion that his pupils WILL graduate to college if they want to, and that this will never happen if they don't feel anyone cares about them. Despite resistance from some pupils and teachers,(not to mention ongoing gang warfare within the grounds), others rise to the occasion, both for themselves and for McKenna himself, such is the respect he gains. In the process of such diligence his once supportive girlfriend leaves him under the pressure of his split commitments, but as for the School, he succeeds. Seeing the graduating students really is a heartwarming moment! Having previously seen "187", it does make the violent scenes and troublesome pupils here look bland by comparison, but its hard to tell if this film was sanitised or "187" sensationalised. Regardless, its still well worth the watch, especially if you respect Denzel's work in later movies already.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Tanya A. Peters on May 15, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am one of many family members who in fact attended George Washington High School, now George Washington Preparatory High School. After reading the previous reviews of others, I can make this statement. You have to live an event to really appreciate art imitating life.

For most movie makers it can be difficult at best to recreate a story such as this about a person who took on odds, doubt & obstacles to give African American & Latino students a better shot at life, through eduaction.

Personally, I loved this movie. I first saw it during my Sophomore year in high school. I was on hiatus my fall semester attending another school, and was upset that I couldn't be back home. However, I was filled with pride knowing that my principal, & school's history was becoming a part of Americana. So to some this may have been a cheezy attempt. To me this made for TV film will go down in history that preceeded Lean On Me, Stand and Deliver an others, but all will chronical the struggles and triumphs that a few will self inflict to take on the inequalities our nation perpetuates on it's inner city youth.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Pirie on May 12, 2007
Format: DVD
VERY GOOD FILM.IT IS A GOD FILM TO WATCH FOR ANYONE, BUT A BRILLIANT FILM TO WATCH IF YOU LIKE TRUE STORIES.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Smith on February 20, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I had seen this movie on television and loved it. Being a Denzel Washington fan, I had to have it for my collection
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By Asia Woods on January 21, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Impressed. Learning that this movie was based a true story and it originated before Lean on Me will put in the right perspective when watching IT. Denzell did a marvelous job of showing his conviction for this role and portraying change ---- against all odds. It is a true reminder to believe in YOURSELF and it is okay to rely on a few good people to make all of the difference in the world.

IF YOU ARE COLLECTING GOOD WHOLESOME VIDEOS THAT CAN BE PULLED OUT OF YOUR LIBRARY AND SHOWN TO ALL AGES, ESPECIALLY HIGH SCHOOL SOPHOMORES AND UP --- THIS IS A MUST SEE AND PURCHASE. GET THE FAMILY TOGETHER AND SET TIME ASIDE FOR A DISCUSSION AFTERWARDS, IT JUST MIGHT PRODUCE A CHANGE IN YOUR PERSPECTIVE.

When you get finish watching it, you will actually want MORE --- because it was just that good.
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By donna on June 24, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Highly recommend this movie, focuses on the obstacles faced by teachers and a principal of an at risk school in the inner-city.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The movie retained the history of an educator in the changing times. The Denzel Washington character was most impressive and memorable.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I loved this movie; not only because that fine Denzel Washington played Mr.McKenna, but because it was very personal to me. George McKenna was one of my instructors at Jordan High School in Watts. Denzel portrayed Mr.McKenna to the T!!!! After 45+ years, I am still in touch with Mr.McKenna, my not so secret crush!!!!!!
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